Following consultations with health officials in the province, Premier Doug Ford has announced that Ontario is officially in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that this wave will be more complicated, more complex. It will be worse than the first wave we faced earlier this year,” said Premier Ford at his daily press briefing on Monday.
“But what we don’t know yet, is how bad the second wave will be.”
The province of Ontario, the largest province with a population of 14.7 million, reported an additional 700 new infections on Monday, the most in a day since the outbreak began in late January.
Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health joined Premier Ford in saying Ontario is on the upward slope of a second wave of the pandemic.
According to Dr. Williams, health experts are following numerous metrics such as hospitalizations, ICUs, cases, outbreak cases, long-term care facilities, contact tracing and management, lab testing capacity and percent positivity to determine how the second wave will go.
“There are many factors that play in here looking at how this is rolling out in the province of Ontario, how it’s rolling out locally and regionally,” said Dr. Williams.
“How big it is, we don’t know yet. It’s not like the tsunami-type second wave but we’re watching to see how this will have an impact on our systems,” added the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health.
However, Dr. Williams said Ontario is better prepared for the second wave now compared to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comparing the two waves of the pandemic, Dr. Williams noted that in the first wave, the province was processing less than half of the COVID-19 tests the province is currently processing now.
Additionally, Dr. Williams noted that in the first wave, the most affected population when it came to virus infections were the elderly and seniors, however in the second wave more people between the 20 and 39 age group and the 40 and 59 age group are being tested.
“We really have to hunker down and stay on task to see if we can flatten this curve like we did the first time. People had gotten very casual I think at the end of summer, early fall and we’ve seen that effect,” added the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Canada and Ontario COVID-19 Update:
Of the 700 new infections reported in the province on Monday, the majority were reported in the city of Toronto.
The City of Toronto reported 344 new cases, Peel Region recorded 104 new cases, 89 new cases in Ottawa and 56 cases in York Region. Four other public health units are also reporting new double-digit cases.
Meanwhile, some regions report fewer than five new cases and some report no new cases.
Toronto currently has 1,661 cases being monitored; Peel Region 927 cases; Ottawa 656 cases; Waterloo 137
The Ontario Ministry of Health on Sunday reported 112 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, nearly triple the figure of two weeks ago.
The second wave’s impact on Ontario hospitals will depend on the demographics of those infected in the coming weeks, the team said.
Ontario has now recorded 50,531 infections across the province, with 2,840 deaths. Currently, the province has 4,564 cases being monitored.
“Please follow the health guide, please download the COVID-19 warning app, please get a flu shot this year,” urged Premier Ford.
Canada reported an additional 1,739 cases across the country, bringing the total number of cases nationwide to 155,301 since the pandemic started.
There have been 9,278 deaths. Currently, Canada has 13,416 cases being tracked across provinces.
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